We reported last week that Q2 2008 is about to become the first quarter in more than 30 years to not include a single VC-backed IPO. The National Venture Capital Association is understandably a bit freaked out, and tomorrow will go on a PR kick that includes NVCA pres Mark Heesen on CNBC and the release of a membership survey called “Capital Markets Crisis.”
But venture capitalists aren’t the only one with IPO stress. Only two buyout-backed companies went public on U.S. exchanges in Q2, which matches the paltry number from last quarter. For context, 16 buyout-backed companies went public in the first half of 2007, while 34 went public in the first half of 2006. In fact, it’s been five years since the buyout-backed IPO market was this sluggish.
There isn’t even much good news in the pair of IPOs we did get: RHI Entertainment and Verso Paper Corp. Each priced lower than expected, and have since traded even lower in the after-market.
No wonder certain PE firms are having fundraising troubles. Who wants to invest in funds that can’t exit their investments…